PONTE VEDRA BEACH, Florida / BOISE, Idaho – Retired United States Army Corporal and Idaho native Chad Pfeifer will compete in the Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco (July 9-12) as a sponsor exemption. Pfeifer will be the first veteran amputee to participate in an official Web.com Tour event.
The 33-year-old Pfeifer, who served in Iraq, is a graduate of Vallivue High School in nearby Caldwell, Idaho. He lost his left leg above the knee in April 2007 when a roadside bomb exploded and blew up a vehicle in which he and other members of D Company of the 3rd Airborne Battalion in the 509th Infantry Regiment were traveling.
“It’s an amazing opportunity for me and my golf career, but at the same time, it’s nice to get my story out there for other wounded soldiers or people with disabilities,” Pfeifer said. “Hopefully I can inspire them and they can see that anything is possible as long as they keep going.
“My ultimate goal is to get to the PGA TOUR,” he added. “The most exposure I could get is on the PGA TOUR. So it became a personal goal with other veterans in mind.”
Pfeifer turned to golf as an important part of his recovery and healing process upon returning from Iraq. Fellow soldier Christian Bagge, who lost both of his legs in Iraq, encouraged the three-sport high school athlete to take up the game during his rehabilitation at Brooke Army Medical Center at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. His first 18-hole round of golf came 10 months after his Iraq injury occurred.
Pfeifer’s passion for the game has already led to a win at the 2011 National Amputee Golf Championship and three at the George W. Bush’s Warrior Open for wounded veterans. He has also played Gateway Tour and eGolf Tour tournaments, and was a contestant in Golf Channel’s most recent edition of “The Big Break-The Palm Beaches, Florida.” Last July, Pfeifer placed fifth in the American Century Championship at Lake Tahoe, behind winner Mark Rypien, Jeremy Roenick, Annika Sorenstam and Jack Wagner.
Playing out of the Golf Club of Estrella in Goodyear, Ariz., Pfeifer plays the game full-time, but also does public speaking. He plans to enter the Web.com Tour Qualifying School, which begins in August.
Pfeifer is a strong supporter of Birdies for the Brave, a national military outreach initiative proudly supported by the PGA TOUR, which is dedicated to honoring and showing appreciation to the courageous members of our U.S. Armed Forces and their families. Pfeifer has participated in numerous Birdies for the Brave events conducted during TOUR tournaments, including this past May’s THE PLAYERS Championship. In addition, the TOUR recently honored Pfeifer with an honorary membership to TPC Scottsdale, near his home in the Phoenix area. Birdies for the Brave activities include home donations to wounded veterans, rehabilitative golf programs including the Callaway Warrior Club Fitting program, military appreciation celebrations during tournaments, complimentary admission and hospitality for military members and families at most tournaments, and a series of fundraising events that have raised more than $15 million for military homefront charities. For more information, visit www.birdiesforthebrave.org.
In October 2008, Pfeifer married the former Summer Zink, with whom he attended elementary, middle and high school. They have two children, Grady (3) and Lucien (15 months).
The Albertsons Boise Open presented by Kraft Nabisco is the 15th of 25 Web.com Tour events this year. It will feature a 156-player field. Boise is one of four cities that have hosted a Web.com Tour event every year since the Tour was launched in 1990, with Hillcrest Country Club serving as the host venue all 26 years. Hillcrest is a par-71 layout that measures 6,807 yards.
“I know the course produces low scores so it’s going to take four great days of golf to be in contention,” Pfeifer said. “But I’m comfortable with my game, I’m confident and I think I can come out here and compete with these guys. It will be great to play in the Treasure Valley, my hometown. I’m excited.”